story to find out more.
Microbiologist Gregory Siragusa examines a
bacterial culture while technician Johnna Garrish measures zones of
antimicrobial activity against bacteria from bacteriocin agents co-developed by
U.S. and Russian scientists. Click the image for more information about
Natural Substance Reduces Campylobacter in
November 16, 2005
Proteins called bacteriocins,
produced by bacteria, can reduce Campylobacter pathogens to very low
levels in chicken intestines and could help reduce human exposure to food-borne
pathogens, Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists report.
The research was coordinated by scientists at the ARS
B. Russell Research Center in Athens, Ga. They collaborated with scientists
from the former Soviet Union on this and other food safety research.
In a chickens gut, the bacteriocins can crowd out pathogenic bacteria,
making it less likely that pathogens could infect poultry or humans.
Seal, research leader for the
Microbiological Safety Research Unit in Athens, is directing the work on
reducing food-borne bacterial pathogens like Campylobacter. The research
was begun by ARS microbiologist
Stern in Athens. Stern was awarded a patent on uses for bacteriocins. He
Siragusa and Eric Line have applied for several other patents as well.
The work was completed in collaboration with Edward Svetoch, a Russian
Federation scientist at the State Research Center for Applied
Microbiology in Obolensk. Svetoch and Stern evaluated tens of thousands of
bacterial isolates from poultry production environments. Stern and his
colleagues have found promise in numerous organisms for
anti-Campylobacter activity, namely Bacillus circulans and
In addition, Stern and his colleagues successfully enhanced the production
of bacteriocins, making it much more attractive for industrial testing.
According to Stern, there has been substantial industry interest in licensing
the technology. Bacteriocins could become an alternative to antibiotics for
The current research is funded and coordinated by the
U.S. Department of State, the
International Science and Technology Center,
and the ARS Office of
International Research Programs.
more about this research in the November 2005 issue of Agricultural
ARS is the U.S. Department of
Agricultures chief scientific research agency.